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Lead Engineer, Materials Characterization Lab

Lead Engineer, Materials Characterization Lab

Materials Engineering

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life beyond Earth.


Work with brilliant, passionate engineers to tackle difficult problems and push the boundaries of space flight. This is the team that will engineer the materials and processes that will take mankind to Mars and beyond.


  • Develop the capabilities and execute materials characterization, including advanced microstructural analysis and mechanical properties
  • Work with materials engineers to assess best in class approaches for microstructural investigations from the component to nanoscale, including 3D tomography
  • Develop laboratory capabilities and analysis methods to implement such approaches and collaborate with external labs and universities to augment internal capabilities
  • Develop and operate best in class methods to assess mechanical behavior including cryogenic to high-temperature tensile, fracture and fatigue behavior of metals, composites, and ceramics
  • Manage the characterization lab operations including workflow, equipment acquisition and maintenance, personnel development and training, consumables inventory, and budgets


  • Bachelor’s degree in material science, materials engineering, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, or physics
  • 3 years of experience in microstructural characterization and mechanical behavior in an academic or commercial setting
  • 2 years of experience directing and managing laboratory technicians to perform materials characterization


  • Master's or doctorate degree in materials science with focus on mechanical and/or microstructural characterization
  • Experience with advanced 3D materials characterization techniques at the micro and/or nano scale including OM, SEM/FIB, EBSD, nano-CT, EDS/WDS, Auger Spectroscopy, 3D-Atom Probe tomography, and/or XRD
  • Proficiency in mechanical test methods including tensile, fracture, and fatigue testing at cryogenic to high-temperature conditions
  • Demonstrated track record of success in a laboratory setting in a fast paced and highly competitive environment
  • Experience with applying materials characterization techniques in support of failure analysis for component hardware in service and during manufacture
  • Personality and drive to execute in a scrappy entrepreneurial environment that operates under tight timelines and aggressive schedules
  • Effective written and interpersonal communication skills. Must be capable of interacting with and conveying concepts within all level of our organization
  • Strong academic foundation coupled with hands on experience


  • Must be willing to work long hours and weekends as needed
  • Must be willing to travel as needed


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

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